Licensed in Missouri and Kansas

Venue and Jurisdiction

Two important concepts in any personal injury case are venue and jurisdiction. Often confused, these two items have a major impact on the value of your case. Here are the difference between the two and how they affect your case.

Venue pertains to a particular location within a court system where your personal injury case will be tried. For example, in Missouri state circuit court, the venues are divided by county. You're injury case is generally tried in the courthouse of the county in which you were injured, and the juries are generally drawn from that county. So, if you were in a car accident in Clay County, Missouri, your case will be tried in the Circuit Court of Clay County located in Liberty, Missouri and the jury will be drawn from qualified citizens of Clay County.

Venue is important because juries from different counties view personal injury cases differently. Some counties typically produce jurors who strongly disfavor personal injury cases, so you start at a disadvantage before you even enter the courthouse door. Conversely, some counties produce jurors who are very friendly to personal injury victims and will give them a fair shake.

Jurisdiction pertains to the power or ability of a certain court to hear your case. There are certain elements that must be met for a given court to exercise jurisdiction over your case. For example, in order for a federal court to have jurisdiction over a personal injury claim, the damages must exceed $75,000.00. The most common element of jurisdiction is that the personal injury plaintiff must be a resident of the state in which the court is located. For example, a Kansas court will typically not have jurisdiction over a Missouri resident, unless other elements are met.

Jurisdiction is important because it can affect what court in which you are allowed to file your personal injury case. If your only choice is a court that has bad judges, then the value of your case could go down. Conversely, if a court with good judges has jurisdiction over your case, then the value could go up.

Venue and jurisdiction are often very important factors in determining the value of any personal injury case. If you are a personal injury victim and have questions about the venue or jurisdiction of your case, please contact our firm.